A few prayer requests and illustrations/photos are below. What does all this have to do with kudzu or scaling cliffs? Let us explain…
Much of the summer so far for Shannon and I has been spent climbing Mt. Fully Funded. As you can see above, our “climber man” is well above the tree line. The Lord has brought us up this far and the summit is in sight! Yet, at times, the final ascent to the peak feels not like a gentle slope but a steep cliff.
Kudzu – a tenacious but fairly common vine pervasive in the South – can grow rapidly even in seemingly hostile environments. Some of you have experienced kudzu enveloping a whole tree, wall or even the exterior of a house. It can grow or “crawl” about 1 foot per day …all with no help from man and a small amount of water. Vertical expansion is no problem for kudzu – even up a cliff!
Jesus said that He is the Living Vine and we are merely the dependent branches. (John 15:5) He also said that if we abide in Him then we’ll bear fruit in His time and way, yet if we are apart or not abiding in Him then nothing grows and we can do not a thing.
Looking back on our climb so far, seeking new financial partners has taken a lot of strenuous effort – like a mountaineer. However, at the end of the day we can only point to God, His generosity and His divine plan in connecting us to people He has prepared to give out of a heart for Him. The Lord has “grown” the connections and relationships right up the mountain, just at the right place and the right time to allow us to get to the next step. All we have had to do is reach out and embrace the growing Vine – the Provider – and His “kudzu” of people and connections helping to push us up to our goal. It’s not really our temporary goal that matters (see more on this below). He provides the hand holds and foot holds, but we scale the cliff as a means to abide and depend on our Amazing God.
1) Our goal is more spiritual than financial. Pray that we will remember this and be clear about what really matters: We want to be fully funded for our calling. Yet the ultimate need is not to be more comfortable, pay bills, or any budgetary deficit on the horizon. The ultimate need is to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. This means giving all to seek His lost sheep and make His name great.
2) 65 in the next 45: We want to personally meet (one-on-one) and present our ministry to 65 new people in the next 45 days. This will bring us to the end of summer. And quite possibly we will meet all of the people needed to reach the Summit in 45 days. Please pray the Lord will lead us to 65 new people (we have no idea where or how) and that they will be available to meet in the next 45 days.
3) Summit before Sept: Please pray the Lord will provide our remaining need to be fully funded no later than by the end of August.